Carrie was born and raised in Colorado. She believed if you worked hard, you could achieve your dreams and things would work out. This attitude allowed her to begin playing the tuba in 5th grade, when that was thought of as a boy instrument! She earned a B.M. in Music Education from Colorado State University and taught instrumental music for 8 years. She met Bob at CSU and they married 2 weeks after Carrie graduated in 1986. Life was good! But circumstances hit pretty hard for over a decade, and that rosy view started to slip away. She and Bob have struggled with infertility, miscarriage, clashing personalities and hurtful relationship patterns. The good times included adopting their now 25-year old son, Brendan, as a newborn, the birth of now 23-year old Katie, and adopting Sam from Vietnam when he was 3 1/2.
Things became rocky as Sam struggled to fit into the O’Toole family. After 8 years of therapy, special education, surgeries, prayer, doctor visits, hospitalizations, multiple diagnoses (RAD, PTSD, Developmental Delays, etc.), Bob and Carrie made the heart-wrenching decision to relinquish custody and place Sam into another adoptive family from their church. This family was falling apart! The ripple effects of estrangement from extended family members, and judgmental attitudes from people they thought would be there for support, almost took this family under.
The last 8 years have been a time of healing and growth. After a decade of personal, marriage, and family therapy, Carrie’s counselor and psychiatrist suggested that since she had already done all of the work, maybe it was time for her to go to school and earn her counseling degree. So she did!
Carrie graduated from Liberty University with a M. A. in Human Services, specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy. Not wanting to open a practice, but desiring to help people, she earned her credentials as a Board Certified Life Coach and Attachment-Based Intervention Specialist through The American Association of Christian Counselors.
Carrie would like to help you through the tough times in your life through her book, speaking events, coaching, Podcasting, short films, and documentary.
“Carrie is authentic and transparent – she’s the real deal. She has surrendered herself to “Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine,” (Eph 3:20) and God is proving faithful to complete the work He started. Carrie gives God the glory, and she is a walking example of what He wants to do in us and through us.”
Monica Swoboda, Women’s Ministry Team, Southeast Christian Church